IROQUOIS — A family that grew its pedigreed seed business into one of Eastern Ontario’s most well-known was honoured with the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association highest award last month.
They received the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association’s Robertson associate award for long-time service to the seed industry.
When Grahame Hardy was 17, when he moved to Inkerman from Montreal in 1967 with his parents after they bought a 150-acre untiled farm. He met his wife, Kathy, who was raised on a Prince Edward County Holstein dairy farm, when they were students at Kemptville College in 1970. They married in 1972. Four years later they joined Grahame’s parents in the Hardy Seeds Limited pedigreed seed business.
The couple bought Hardy Seeds outright in 1990 and from there, expanded the company by adding a commercial elevator for spring wheat and an additional 600 tonnes of storage in 1993. Less than a decade later, the seed cleaning plant was upgraded to include an automated bagging line to allow for the increased output of bagged product, which included pedigreed seed, certified organic food grade soybeans and food grade soybeans for the export market.
In 2009, Grahame and Kathy sold the seed business and moved to Iroquois where they are retired but have stayed active in various organizations such as 4-H, soil and crop improvement associations and Ottawa Valley Seed Growers.